2014 Photography Awards: Lasting Impressions

First Place: Ronald OlsenRonald Olsen of Coventry, Rhode Island, won first prize in the 2013 photography awards for his night view of a steam locomotive working inside a steel mill in China. The theme was “creative images.”

The Center’s 2014 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program theme has been announced as “Lasting Impressions,” emphasizing memorable images. The Center desires photographs that leave lasting impressions, photography worthy of display on a living room wall or even a museum.

Submissions may consist of up to five images, either individual photographs or a grouping or sequence. No restrictions apply to subject, style, or technique, but the photographs should be rail-related and made since December 31, 2009. Digital editing (such as with Adobe PhotoShop) is acceptable but entrants should include this detail in their descriptions of the photographs so as not to misrepresent an image’s content. The contest is not specifying any one particular style, genre or technique. Very likely your best photographs are those you remember most, or are most remembered by those to whom you have shown your work. The sky is the limit, especially if the light is interesting.

Deadline: October 15, 2014
Winners announced: December 1, 2014
Submit to: award [at] railphoto-art [dot] org
Format: Full-size JPEG files at “high” or “maximum” quality setting
Publication: Railroad Heritage and Railfan & Railroad
Exhibition: California State Railroad Museum
First Prize: 13×19 printer from Canon and $500
Second Prize: $300
Third Prize: $200

Railroaders Visited by Famed Actor Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise at entrance to Railroaders ExhibitionAcademy Award nominee Gary Sinise poses next to the photograph of his grandfather, Indiana Harbor Belt conductor Daniel Sinise, at the entrance to Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography at the Chicago History Museum. Photograph by Joseph Aaron Campbell and courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, former star of television’s CSI, visited Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, the Center’s collaborative exhibition with the Chicago History Museum, earlier this spring. Sinise is standing next to an image of his grandfather, Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) conductor Daniel Sinise. As part of photographer Jack Delano’s 1942–1943 assignment to document the nation’s railroads, the Sinise family was selected for extensive coverage as the “All-American railroad family.” Daniel appears at far left in the exhibition’s entry graphic, which depicts his five-man crew on the IHB in Riverdale, Illinois, on a February day in 1943. Learn more about the exhibit or purchase the 200-page, hardbound catalog.

Like a Mushroom, Conversations Can’t Stop Growing

Ron Flanary and Mike DannemanRon Flanary (left) and Mike Danneman entertained and enlightened with their discussion of railroad photography and painting at Conversations 2014. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek.

In the twelve years the Center has offered Conversations about Photography, it has grown from one day to three. And now, in 2014, it has posted attendance records for the third year in a row. The event has become the one of most important in the world for railroad photographers, and advance registration has become a necessity. So make plans now to attend the 2015 Conversations, April 10-12 at Lake Forest College, whose campus on Lake Michigan is a treat in spring weather. Comments about the 2014 event were overwhelmingly positive. Presentations, arrangements, and a terrific Sunday morning at the Chicago History Museum for a tour of Railroaders—all received bravos. Take a look at the visual record courtesy of photographer Henry A. Koshollek.

2014 Conference Sold-Out

The 2014 Conversations about Photography conference is sold-out. No tickets will be available at the door. The 2015 conference will be held April 10–12 on the campus of Lake Forest College. Tickets for the 2015 conference will go on sale in early January. We hope to see you there!

Conference Raffles: Plowden and Shaughnessy

2014 Raffles: David Plowden and Jim Shaughnessy
Framed photographs by David Plowden (left) and Jim Shaughnessy will be raffled at Conversations about Photography this year. The drawing for Shaughnessy’s print will be held Friday evening. Plowden himself will draw the winning ticket for his print at the end of Saturday’s presentations. Please note that you must be present to win.

Shaughnessy Print Raffle


Plowden Print Raffle

Jim Shaughnessy’s print shows Canadian Pacific Railway 4-6-2 steam locomotive no. 1257 stopping in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1957 with local passenger train no. 40. The 11×14 silver gelatin print was made by the photographer and is matted and framed in black metal to 20×24 inches.

“Freight train, west of Havre, Montana,” is one of Plowden’s signature railroad photographs—and one of his signature photographs of all time. The 1968 view shows boxcars in a Great Northern Railway train silhouetted against a dramatic sky with wheat fields in the foreground and a single car with an open door perfectly positioned near the right edge of the frame. The archival inkjet print is 11×14 inches and made by the photographer, matted and framed in black metal to 20×24 inches.

Tickets for each raffle are $10 each, $25 for three, $40 for five. You may purchase them online or at the conference. Please note that you must be present to win.

Print Program

You can also purchase limited edition prints by Victor Hand and Mitch Markovitz both online and at the 2014 conference via the Center’s Print Program.